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Are There Side Effects to Whitening Your Teeth?

woman with long dark hair smiling
Author: mcymer Posted: May 27th, 2021 Category:

Teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve your smile. If minor side effects occur, you can usually address them with home remedies.

Whitening your teeth is a popular way to rejuvenate the color of your teeth and improve your confidence with a shining smile. There are plenty of different kinds of teeth whitening procedures — from casual in-home whitening strips to whitening procedures in the dentist’s chair. 

Any dentist can tell you that one of the most common requests from patients is for teeth whitening. But, despite the popularity of these solutions, few people know exactly how the procedure works — or what its side effects may be. 

What Are the Side Effects of Teeth Whitening?

Rest assured, there are few potential side effects of teeth whitening. The procedure is a non-invasive, safe process that, more often than not, has nothing but upsides. However, if you are planning on getting your teeth whitened, here are two potential side effects you should watch out for: 

  • Teeth sensitivity. The most common side effect of teeth whitening is sensitive teeth. In this case, sensitivity refers to the feeling of pain or discomfort in your teeth, often when exposed to temperature changes. There is no conclusive evidence as to why whitening can make your teeth sensitive, but we do know that most cases are a result of prolonged, intense whitening.

If you experience sensitive teeth as a result of teeth whitening, the first course of action is to reduce the amount of whitening you’re doing. You can also use a soft toothbrush and fluoride mouthwash to build up strength in your enamel. If pain continues after you have stopped whitening, make sure to let your dentist know. 

  • Gingival irritation. Gingival irritation (also known as irritated gums) is a rarer side effect of teeth whitening. Irritated gums are usually a result of an in-office whitening treatment that has overstepped your teeth, and applied too much whitening treatment to your gums.

Irritated gums can be sore and red for a few days, but they tend to heal quickly. To ease the discomfort of irritated gums, soft brushing and a few ibuprofen usually does the trick. 

If you’re one of the few to experience the above side effects from teeth whitening, fortunately these conditions usually go away with some gentle at-home care. 

How Safe Is Teeth Whitening?

Whitening your teeth is quite safe. Despite the fact that some people experience sensitivity or gingival irritation, the large majority of whitening cases are incident-free. And, if you do experience these side effects, home treatment usually does the trick. 

If you’re self-conscious about the color of your teeth, teeth whitening is an effective and safe way to improve the radiance of your smile. To learn more about teeth whitening, talk to one of our qualified dentists at Espire. We offer in-office whitening treatments, in addition to professional advice on whether whitening is right for you.

Request an appointment today — your smile is too important to wait!